This stage of our Staircases in Culture Series celebrates the part staircases have played on the big screen. There have been many examples to choose from. Read all about our favourite staircase movie scenes or watch the video montage to see how many of the classic scenes you recognise:
Film actors from Humphrey Bogart to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson have had to had to tackle the stairs on films, from westerns to rom-coms, black & white to technicolour; stairs have long graced the silver screen.
One of the most defining moments in cinema – the underdog Rocky Balboa runs up the 72 stone steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as he trains for the fight of his life.
Harry Potter & The Philosophers Stone
As if one defining staircase in a movie isn’t enough, there are two of significance in the Harry Potter films. There first is the rather boring staircase in Privet Privet Drive under which Harry sleeps while living with the Dursleys – his muggle family. The second, in contrast, are the amazing grand staircases at Hogwarts which move and change position as students try to move around the school which Harry attends with his friends Ron, Hermione, Ginny & Neville.
Another movie with two notable staircase scenesis the family favourite Mary Poppins. The first set of stairs, while elegant, are not as notable as the magical nanny who slides up the wooden banister rail to meet the children. The second sees Mary conjure a staircase out of smoke as she ventures the chimney for a rooftop adventure with the children (Jane & Michael) and Bert (the chimneysweep).
The sinister Goblin King played by David Bowie enters his very own MC Escher painting (see our ‘Staircases in Culture: Art’ article) in this classic children’s film bursting with magical Jim Henson creations.
Michael Bond’s lovable Paddington, the bear from Darkest Peru is taken in by the Brown family. This beautiful helical staircase runs through the centre of their home but soon becomes a waterfall after Paddington takes a bath…
The Spiral Staircase (1945)
This psychological thriller in which a serial killer seeks out young women was originally a novel which was adapted for radio before becoming a film.
The staircase in the movie Titanic was more than just a film set – it was a legitimate oak staircase made in Mexico for the film and built to withstand a lot of wear and tear…and water…a lot of water!